Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo says he was surprised by how much Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas struggled for pace during Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix, having battled together throughout the race.
Ricciardo passed Bottas at the start and stayed ahead of him until the safety car period and subsequent pit stops, when they swapped positions.
He then followed the Mercedes for the rest of the race, eventually finishing right behind it in sixth place.
Bottas later reported a handling issue, with the car proving especially difficult in right handers.
“Valtteri didn’t look particularly quick for their, let’s say, normalcy,” said Ricciardo.
“Today in the first stint I got him on lap one, and then I expected him to come back by me pretty soon after, and he didn’t.
“And I think at some point I was actually pulling away.
“I know we haven’t been slow this weekend. But of course, we’re also